“Between Two Worlds” by I

Artist: I
Title: “Between Two Worlds”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 11/14/2006
Genre: Black Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

I will be one of the first to admit that when I hear something is a side project devised of the guys in other popular Metal bands that most of the time I am less than excited about it. The reason because of this is primarily due to the end result not being all too interesting. Yet when you find one is built up of personnel such as Abbath and Armagedda (Immortal), TC King (Gorgoroth), and Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal (Enslaved) it truly bears more than a casual investigation. These musicians are members of the Black Metal Illuminati and their existing work is a testimony to their skills in matters Dark. However, instead of a blistering display of Black Metal with this project the listener is treated to more of a Dark Hard Rock that falls along the line of Motorhead and perhaps even a little bit of Chrome Division (the side project of Dimmu Borgir’s Shagrath). There are times when the record holds an Immortal feel, but just done at a slower pace than they are known for and also has this topped off with a twist of recent Enslaved. In the end this is just an excellent listening experience. I never expected a more Classic Rock vibe based on the membership origins but it just stands as credit to these members skills and abilities to craft such a unique project. The albums opener “Storm I Ride” is a thunderous track that will have your attention as they offer tribute to old KISS in the feel and vibe bringing to mind some eighties W.A.S.P. as well.

We find Abbath offering the high hails and horns to the fallen member of Bathory during “Far Beyond The Quiet”. It is through this track that he feels the spirit of genius offered to Metal by Quorthon is able to live on further in memory. There are also several moments which harken to Abbath’s Viking heritage such as in the song “Warriors” while on others he offers thoughts of his Norwegian home such as he does on “Mountains”. It’s definitely quite a bit darker than the Chrome Division stuff, but the influx of Rock into the Black Metal is a great new twist to the genre. I feel it raises both the possibilities of new music and its success at generating a larger fan base than it could have done in its original form. “Between Two Worlds” seems to be much more than a mere album title and instead a herald of the way things can become from this brand of music. The downside is for you if you expected Extreme Metal yet if you liked the sound of this then you are also recommended to look into the new Satryicon and Enslaved. Each of those releases changes the perception of the accepted norm in Black Metal by using a number of different elements as well.

I found one main disappointment on the whole release and that is that there are only eight songs. I am willing to wager you will feel the same way after you listen and become enraptured in this grim but oh so alluring new brand of Metal. “I” is a name that stands tall, shows strength and is sure to become one of the new super powers in the genre we support.

Track Listing:
1. The Storm I Ride
2. Warriors
3. Between Two Worlds
4. Battalions
5. Mountains
6. Days Of North Winds
7. Far Beyond The Quiet
8. Cursed We Are

Official Website: www.i-metal.net

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